Fish Proteins

Both finfish and shellfish are highly valuable sources of proteins in human nutrition. The protein content of fish flesh, in contrast to the fat content, is highly constant, independent of seasonal variations caused by the feeding and reproductive cycles, and shows only small differences among species. Table 4 summarizes the approximate protein contents of the various finfish and shellfish groups. Fatty finfish and crustaceans have slightly higher than average protein concentrations. Bivalves have the lowest values if the whole body mass is considered (most of them are usually eaten whole), whereas values are roughly average if specific muscular parts alone are consumed; this is the case with the scallop, in which only the adductor muscle is usually eaten.

The essential amino-acid compositions of fish and shellfish are given in Table 5. Fish proteins, with only slight differences among groups, possess a high nutritive value, similar to that of meat proteins and slightly lower than that of egg. It is worth pointing out the elevated supply, relative to meat, of essential amino-acids such as lysine, methionine, and threo-nine. In addition, owing in part to the low collagen content, fish proteins are easily digestible, giving rise to a digestibility coefficient of nearly 100.

The recommended dietary allowances (RDA) or dietary reference intakes (DRI) of protein for human male and female adults are in the range of 45-65 g per day. In accordance with this, an intake of 100g of fish would contribute 15-25% of the

Table 4 Protein content of the different groups of fish and shellfish

Fish group g per 100 g

Table 4 Protein content of the different groups of fish and shellfish

Fish group g per 100 g

White finfish

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